Eagle Pipe & Supply, Inc. v. Amerada Hess Corp.

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Justia Opinion Summary

The issue before the Supreme Court arose from the sale of land sold to Plaintiff Eagle Pipe and Supply, Inc. who later discovered the land was allegedly contaminated with radioactive material. Plaintiff sued the former landowners and the oil and trucking companies allegedly responsible for the contamination. The oil and trucking companies moved to dismiss for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The appellate court initially affirmed the dismissal, but reversed its own decision after rehearing. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether a subsequent purchaser of property has the right to sue a third party for non-apparent property damage inflicted before the property sells absent an assignment or subrogation to that right. After review, the Court found that the "fundamentals of Louisiana property law compel the conclusion" that such a right of action is not permitted. "Instead, the subsequent purchaser has the right to seek rescission of the sale, reduction of the purchase price or other legal remedies." The Court found that the appellate court erred in reversing itself on rehearing, and reinstated the ruling of the district court.